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Category Archives: Tuesday Night Reviews

eh hem… Hi, its Maceo, here is my perspective of Tuesday.

In support of DPL’s partnership with DPL staff interns let the crowd know about Dip Dive. There were laptop booths set up for attendees to register for Dip Dive and get started with the movement.

If you missed the lounge, the first thing to note is that the power was out at the Greenway Court Theatre. Instead of being consumed by the night we resolved, and crashed the neighbors venue. Across the street, the National Council of Jewish Women’s building was opened for the audience.

Inside, it felt like a High School assemble during 2nd period before lunch. Fold out chairs, hardwood floor and distorted PA sound system.

There were some great poets, a song about the lounges birthday.  My two favorites where two DPL alumni, Javon aka. Dr Johnson, and Thea Monyee.

Javon let loose on the topic of the Tiger Woods scandal. I didnt know whether to laugh or listen intently, so I did both. Javon is master of dichotomy, he draws you in with his humor before the poem, get your attention, then he let’s you know what is on his mind.

Thea, is wonderful on and off the stage but it was special for Javon to introduce her as the feature with their friendship having lasted so long. Javon detailed Thea and Gaknew’s (her husband) first date.

When I listen to Thea speak I am unsure you can even describe it as performing. It is so much more genuine than other performances I have seen it is as if she is giving heartfelt advice to the entire audience at once. All of her work is of a caliber and integrity that I admire and what she did on that stage makes it perfectly clear why features are important to have at an open mic like Da Poetry Lounge.

The feature shows the younger artists in the room what the power of spoken word can be. It gives them a goal to strive for and a target for their ambition. At times we can all feel like no one is listening but when you see someone silence an audience and hold their attention you are reminded that you can accomplish so much with the power of spoken word.

It is a good mix to see a professional poet amidst all the open mic acts. As good as the upcoming talent is that attends Da Lounge I can’t stand some of the poets that read. Its just like American Idol. I will spare these young poets my critique because everyone is entitled to their time on stage but only if you are writing from a genuine place. It is to easy to tell who is there for the right reasons and who is there just to be seen. I know I am not immune to style criticism by any means but let’s be real. To the man who felt it was neccessary to wear an all pink ensemble with matching pink Chuck Taylor’s. ” You know those are women shoe’s dude, and tuck in your shirt.”

If they ever let me post again I won’t be so lenient… eh hem.


Natalie here.  Sorry for the delay.  While I managed to steal the first half list from Shihan so I could properly recap, I have had such a full schedule that I didn’t get a moment to post.  The first half went something like this:

Steve P did his pre-birthday poem.

Donny… typically impressive with much stage presence.

Soulo did a fancy backwards poem that was quite interesting.  I did wonder what would happen if he messed up… I secretly wanted him to say the sentence in the right order just to confuse everyone.

Twin yelled out most of the first half and then shared a love poem that filled the audience with laughter.  I’m not sure if it was that Twin, a typically confrontational writer, decided to take the love turn or if it was that he let the audience imagine his lines too long.  “Her skin is like fur” was the opening line.

Daniel (our college boy) back for the summer shared work with more cursing than we have ever heard from him.  See what college does… cursing!

Our feature Ove, did his thing.  Most of the audience had never seen him before so he did a bit of new and old work.  We love having features; it really brings a different element to the room.  It’s so important to us to expose our audience to the many brilliant poets from around the country.  We often get jaded thinking poetry only looks like what we do but this art is limitless.

The 2nd half was short on time so I tried to pack as much in the one hour as possible.  François opened the 2nd half since last week he somehow got skipped. Angie with a post break-up poem.  Kurtis did a poem to a cute girl in the audience.  She smiled the duration of the poem.  Matty while he proclaimed his love of poetry above all things, he didn’t care enough for the poets in the first half not to text during most of their poems. Matty consider yourself WARNED!!!!

My favorite part of the night had to be the end when several of my new favorites went back to back: Joel, Ashley, April, Tammy, Maceo and Venessa.  It was a brilliant way to end a lovely night.

See you soon!


So here goes, this is my 1st blog for the new DPL wordpress.  When I first decided to do this, I almost immediately began to second guess my decision.  Main reason being I’ve become spoiled over the past 12 years running Da’ Lounge.  I’ve come across so many poets here and I’m a judgmental person so I’d like to take this time to apologize for whatever is written that may upset some folks.

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 – First poets always have the hardest job to me.  They pretty much have the responsibility of setting the tone for the night.  And sometimes starting off with the ‘wrong’ poet and/or poem can throw the night off.  So we started to have 2 or 3 poets go up at a time.  This week was no different except it seemed like every poet who got up on stage did a good job.  It’s really too hard to review a complete night of emotion because if it’s a good night there are so many emotions you go through.  Put it this way…I misplaced the sign up sheet from Tuesday but, I could probably list off almost every poet who got up and shared.

Here goes…Nick, Anonymus, Clo, Jilchirssie, Opposed Thumb, Youssef(symmetrical spelling),  IN-Q, Leon P, Daniel, Twin, Judy Holiday, then there was the girl who read about the guy she liked who wore girl shoes and her second poem was about how great she is, 1 other whose name has also slipped and our feature the Nafeesa look alike – Kelly Love Jones form New Orleans.  I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed so many of the poets who got up.  Maybe because I tend to relive the “Golden Era” of DPL which had poets like Sekou Tha Misfit, Jaha Zainabu, Rachel McKibbens(formerly known as RAC), Bridget Gray, Steve Connell, Snowplough, Gina Loring, Javon Johnson, Omari Hardwick, Dante Basco, Poetri, Ty Scott(formerly known as Tiffany Scott), Rat Pack Slim(formerly known as Slim), Unsane, Nafeesa Monroe, GaKnew, Thea Monyee, Katrina Recto and Rives reading on a weekly basis.  That’s a list to die for.  But, after a while you realize people grow up and priorities start to change.

There were a few lines that stuck out as well especially Youssef’s one about saying grace as we take the first bite.  Fisseha also had one about some shaking nails…pretty dope but, since there are no quotes here you’ll have to imagine how dope they were.  Wait a second, Fisseha is the other name I forgot so all I need now is the girl who kept giggling.  It was something like Sepia or Centaur or something like that…Basically the first half was pretty fresh.  The second half was also dope but, I only saw 7 of the poets read.   I’ve been trying to be better with watching the second half because I think Natalie is really finding her footing as a host and has also identified her audience.  Now, if she could call me back that would be even better.

Our feature for the night was the talented songstress/MC/Mother/Nafeesa Monroe look alike, Kelly Love Jones, who did a great job.  She brought the house to its feet mind you by asking but, it was still dope.  The 1st half was a gumbo of good times, mixed with some talk about guys putting baby powder on their nuts when they don’t have time for a shower and ended with a list of announcements like we always do. This is probably not the kind of review of the night I was supposed to do but, the truth is I’m a random person.  Things that happen at DPL are random and that’s just how it is.

I also feel we’re finally starting to get our stuff together as a unit…meaning DPL is growing up and taking responsibility for itself.  We’re currently putting together this blog, a new website, our YouTube channel, a Festival taking place July 7th-10th, seeking out interns since we have DPL Productions the business side of the Lounge and the dippoetrylounge channel on (The Black Eyed Peas’ social networking site.)  We’re also getting ready for our 12th anniversary in June.  Big things for a big place.  Next Tuesday our feature is Oveous Maximus…there is also an upcoming Slam in 2 weeks and the Series Finale of ‘LOST.’  That has nothing to do with DPL and I haven’t had time to watch the show in years but, I do want to know how it ends.

I hope you enjoyed reading this and we’ll write soon.  Be safe and I just remembered the girl’s name was Sephora…damn, my memory is good.

– Shihan

– YesikaStarr –

Hello Loungers!

forgive the tardiness of my post but it seems short attention spans are hereditary to poets. Haha. I beg you to please bare with me.

Unfortunately I missed out on the last half of the night, but the first half – oh what a first half it was!

Here is a quick replay of it:

we began with a first time reader named Tazz who shared a simple yet heartfelt poem about heartbreak.

afterwards a few familiar faces followed,
but quickly Youssef stole the spot light (and hearts) with his poem titled Traffic.
you can (and definitely should) read said poem here

Danielle and Fisseha
gave us the pleasant surprise of becoming a lovely and delicate duo.
(Danielle shared a beautiful piece while Fisseha accompanied her gently on the guitar)

Shared the passionate and touching story of little Yolanda Simmons and her abuser.

comic relief came to us by way of Jil Chrisy and her piece about a bunch of different and diverse women being her sisters

our favorite 90+ poet Mr. Rosenthal delivered some of the most gorgeous and profound lines of the night:
“poems are but embroidery on the edges of my anguish”
and we also really, really like the way he pronounces the word leisure.

Mr. Rosenthal was followed by a young poet named Zaq who in our opinion looks like a white version of Shihan…cargo shorts and all.

Opposed Thumb, as always, a pleasure
(yay! for Bowerbird teaching us the rules of haikus)
Mark Schafer and his poems of a million quotes brought us this gem:
“ money talks but these days it speaks more Chinese than English”

and then
we were graced by Dante, Natalie and Shihan
who formed a set that not only reminded us why we love poetry so much
but also, why they are such talented and lovely human beings.

In my humble opinion this half could not have had a better ending.

see you soon fellow Loungers! Please do not forget to follow us on  twitter, facebook and myspace!

Faces to the names from last Tuesday’s review:

Mr. Rosendahl was 90+years old

Ed Sheeran

CR Avery

– danielle
This past Tuesday was the perfect night to kick off the new DPL blog. If you were there, you can testify that every set of artists that went up had something beautiful to layer the night. I say artists as opposed to just poets because the night would not have been complete without the incredible musical acts of 19-year-old, fresh-off-the-plane, British musical artist Ed Sheeran and our beat-boxing, poem-spitting beast of a feature from Vancouver, Canada – CR Avery.

There were a number of great pieces that could easily be featured on this post – whether it was Maceo or Judy Holiday setting the tone in the first round of poets (Maceo said “you don’t have to date everyone you’re cool with” Amen.); or the 90+-year-old Hitler refugee who could still make a crowd of youngins laugh and sigh, Ernest Rosenthal; or a powerful run of females in the second half (Tammy then April then Venessa then Natalie. Dang.); or an announcement poem? – but for brevity’s sake I’ll just have to provide some highlights of why you missed out if you weren’t there:

The feature killed it: CR Avery wasted little time chit chattin’ on the mic. He did his thing and left us all wanting more. In his last piece he said, “she can even turn on the lamp” – what?! Thank God for the internet. Check him out here: or just YouTube him – there were l of people with cameras out.

Musical surprise: We weren’t sure if anybody could top the last musical beauty that rolled through DPL, Andy Allo, but Ed Sheeran took the spot as her male counterpart for our new guitar-strummin’ crush. He even got some audience participation. Brownie points. Lots of them. Heck, take them all. You can get jealous here:

Poet we want to see up again: I conferred with Yesika on this one, and we decided it goes to Ale this week. He was the guy in the second half with a striped jacket and a blue polo. We really liked the concept and message of his piece, but thought maybe his facebook and myspace approach weakened the poetics of the piece. Keep signing up.

Random poll of favorites from the night:
Youssef:: CR Avery
Photographer (Fisseha): Ed Sheeran
Dork: Ed Sheeran
Ted (It was his first time to DPL! Applause for him. And we learned it’s Ted, not Teddy, International Man of Mystery): first place favorite was April Rojas in the second half, second place fave was Francois from the second half

You can check out Fish’s pictures on our facebook page, follow us on twitter, or check out our flickr. So many ways to share in the love.